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Missouri Casino and Card Room Gaming

Missouri legalized riverboat casinos in 1993. The Missouri Gaming Commission (MGC) was also established in 1993 to regulate excursion gambling boats. The MGC's role is to ensure the integrity of licensed gaming in Missouri and enforce the laws and regulations that govern licensed gaming activities. The MGC also establishes gaming regulations and investigates, takes disciplinary action, and seeks criminal prosecution for violations of law when required. There are currently 13 riverboat casinos in Missouri, the maximum number of licenses allowed by law.

Pinnacle Entertainment won approval from the MGC to build two casinos: one in downtown St. Louis and one in South St. Louis County. The company began construction on the downtown St. Louis casino in November 2005 and opened in December 2007. The South St. Louis County casino, called River City Casino, opened in spring 2010.

In May 2006, Pinnacle Entertainment announced it had gained approval for its purchase of the bankrupt President Riverboat Casino. The purchase agreement was completed in December 2006.

Missouri restricts player losses to $500 every two hours. In 2005, legislation to eliminate the loss limit was proposed but not approved. In April 2007, new legislation to eliminate the loss limit clause and to increase the number of casino licenses from 13 to 16 received first-round approval in the Senate. The increase in tax revenue would have been used to fund college scholarships. In June 2007, the bill failed with the help of anti-gambling lawmakers. In December 2007, a group of gaming companies, including Ameristar Casinos, Inc. and Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc., proposed an initiative to allow Missouri voters to decide whether to lift the loss limit. In addition to the loss limit question, the proposal called for limiting the number of casino licenses issued in the state to 13 and increasing the gaming tax from 20% to 21%. In February 2008, state lawmakers proposed a similar measure. In May 2008, supporters of the proposal gathered enough signatures for the measure to appear on the ballot in the fall. In August 2008, two groups unsuccessfully filed lawsuits to block the petition from the ballot. The groups argued that the measure covered more than one issue, which is in violation of the Missouri Constitution. In November 2008, voters repealed the state's loss limit of $500.

In January 2008, Jefferson City, which has a local ban on casinos, voted to place a resolution on the April ballot to revoke the ban on casino boats. In April 2008, residents rejected the effort to lift the ban.

In April 2008, the Missouri Legislature introduced a bill prohibiting the MGC from issuing casino licenses until January 2010. By definition, new casinos do not receive their license until construction is complete and the facility is ready to open, but the bill makes an exception for casino construction currently underway. The proposal would only affect new projects. In June 2008, the MGC unanimously approved a moratorium on casino licenses until voters could decide a measure that would prohibit additional gaming boats. The measure, which became known as Proposition A, passed, and the number of casinos in the state was capped at 13.

In January 2011, the MGC awarded the state's final gambling license to Isle of Capri. The Isle Casino Cape Girardeau casino opened in fall 2012.

In July 2014, the MGC voted to approve rules to implement a state law, passed earlier in the year, which allows casino customers to gamble on credit. The law took effect 28 August 2014.

Missouri Casino and Card Room Gaming Properties

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